Adopting this mindset encourages a positive outlook on life and the notion that most people are good
I can’t believe I haven’t posted in over a month!! Although I’m rather discouraged about it I have to be honest with you, I simply haven’t been inspired to write anything. A few personal issues have arisen in the past month and I’ve had to take a lot of time, thought and energy to work through them before finding myself and thus, my creativity once again.
As you hopefully know, I pride myself on maintaining a blog that pertains to honest and genuine content but as I’ve mentioned in my previous posts before, I can only write when inspiration strikes. Unfortunately, this approach lacks consistency, but is ideal for the sake of authenticity so, if you haven’t given up on me yet… Thank you, and I hope you enjoy this post (it’s a little long but worth it I hope).
In light of recent events, I’ve had a lot of time (perhaps a little too much) to think and tune into myself. With that being said, I’ve come to a few very important realization that I wanted to share with you. Keep in mind that these are realizations that may already be apparent to you, but nonetheless, are newly significant to me in my life right now, and hopefully to someone else too.
When going through a difficult time and just when moving forward through life for that matter, I’ve realized how important it is to stay true to yourself. I know how obvious and non-enlightening this may sound but this statement can be interpreted in a multitude of ways.
For one, when you’re going through an emotional struggle, it’s incredibly important to have a solid foundation of support through friends and family. This support system doesn’t have to be a dozen people; it can even be just one person. As long as you have someone to talk to or be around when you’re down a world of a difference can be made. Your friends and your family can provide amazing support and advice when you aren’t able to do that for yourself. Having said that, one thing I also learned is as much as it’s important to have people around you to talk to, it’s also important to maintain your own authenticity when receiving advice. I have learned that especially for myself, (someone who unfortunately over thinks way too much) how important it is that I maintain the attitude that the advice and thoughts others share with me should be received as is; to be absorbed but not epitomized. It is knowledge to broaden my perspective, but not to become my perspective.
Of course, everyone is different, and you might already have this mindset (kudos to you if so) however, in my case, describing me as an open book is a total understatement. Therefore, finding a balance between confiding in those around me and listening to their advice while also staying true to my own beliefs is something I’ve struggled with, but recently, this struggle of mine has thankfully begun to improve. This mentality that I’m starting to adopt can not only be applied to difficult emotional situations but to any kind of discussion with anyone really, which is why it is such an important realization to have. It’s also an important puzzle piece that will help you cherish the person you are, and grown into the person you want to be. This way of thinking that I’m referring to can apply to those who are more emotionally reserved as well; finding the courage in yourself to open up to someone when you aren’t at your best or struggling with any kind of challenge in your life is something to strive for while remaining true to yourself.
I’ve also realized that the emotional support others provide to you -assuming it’s being asked from people whose opinions you value, should be received as a gift, given to you with your best interest at heart. Although you can never know for sure what someone’s true intentions are, this is all the more reason to assume the very best of intentions and make it a choice whether or not you wish to include their ideas in your thoughts and beliefs. It’s imperative to acknowledge and appreciate other people’s opinions but it’s even more important to refrain from taking these opinions as the only truth and even more importantly from making them your truth. Creating your own truths about life will allow you to grow in confidence while reinforcing your own set of values that are unique to the person you are, a person who has the ability to better themselves every day.
Now, I apologize for the mildly redundant effect this post may have; I’m reiterating my ideas not only for my own reassurance and encouragement to grow, but to benefit others as well. I figured that if I find myself so easily affected by what others say or do, others must experience this too, and when I came to these (perhaps obvious to some) realizations, I felt like others could benefit from me sharing my thoughts on the matter.
On the note of easily allowing myself to be affected by what others say and/or do, there’s something else I’ve realized, -which again, you might have already been lucky enough to have realized, but that is that you cannot control what others say and/or do but what you can control is how you react to others’ actions. Learning to do so can bring you one step closer to being and staying happy. Of course it is much (much) easier said than done (trust me), but once you become conscious of something, it facilitates the process of changing it no matter how old the habit.
Letting go of the notion that others can dictate how you feel or the anticipation that their actions will make you feel a certain way comes with a great sense of relief. All of a sudden, you rid yourself of a great worry, a worry that wasn’t yours to begin with. Hence, the only person who you can truly be sure of is yourself; you are the only person whose actions you can determine and anticipate with certainty. Thinking about this idea, like really thinking about it, or at least consciously reminding yourself of it will relieve a lot of the ideas you over think along with some of the anxiety that comes along with them. It won’t necessarily happen right away, and it may only click with you if you think about it from a unique angle, but regardless, it will bring you a sense of serenity, of that I am sure.
For example, if someone does something or says something that hurts you, whether it be something that significantly impacts your life or something small, you have yet again a choice. Although you may think you’ve found yourself in a situation dictated by someone else’s actions, you are in fact free. Free to react and think in a way that is best in line with the person you are, and the person you want to be; a person who has a vested interest in what is best for you. Even if in the very moment that you’re hurting so much it may seem impossible, forcing yourself or even just reminding yourself of the attitude or mindset you wish and aspire to have will eventually become part of how you actually think -even if you may not think that way in that very moment. I once watched an inspiring Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, who proved that it’s very possible not to “fake it til you make it” but “fake it til you become it”. However, you may fake it, mentally or physically, your mind and your body will actually begin to accept your desired mindset or behavior as the as the truth. Actions or thought processes that were once a conscious effort will eventually become subconscious, and in the process of doing so, you will have created a much closer connection to the kind of person you wish to be.
So choose wisely, and remember it’s never too late to change. In fact, change is the only guarantee in life, so why not just roll with it?
Also published on Medium.